Sometimes marriage difficulty can be so great all you can think about is running away. On one hand you don’t want to give up on your marriage, but on the other you just don’t know how much you can bear.
Honestly, during the difficult times of my own marriage there were many times I felt like giving up. Yes, I was committed for life and I did stand for my marriage when we were near divorce. But the truth is, it was very difficult and there were many times I wanted to give up.
There were times when we were not on the verge of breaking up and yet still the struggle to have a happy marriage was more than I could handle sometimes. Then there were times when I had to fight to save our marriage while at the same time I battled against feelings of hopelessness and many times thought the best thing for me to do would be to move on. And there were times when I felt so much anger and resentment I really didn’t care if my marriage survived or not.
But every time, when I wanted to run away, my commitment to the Lord wouldn’t let me. So eventually I would always have to submit my desire to run away to the Lord and He always gave me strength to press on a little more. I never felt God strengthen me for some long-term journey that had no end in sight. No it was always just enough to keep me pushing through the desire to quit. And it was through each one of those moments of testing that I would gain a little more than I had had before.
So if you feel like giving up. If your difficult marriage is too much to bear, I want you to know I understand where you are. I understand the pain you feel. I know about the confusion you deal with. And I know the darkness you struggle with as you desperately look for signs for a better tomorrow.
But I also want you to know I understand the hope and the strength that God wants to give so you can keep pressing through this difficult season of your life. I know that even though God never intended for you to struggle with this difficult marriage this way, He has also promised to use it for your good if only you will let Him do the work He wants to do inside you. I also want you to know God wants to draw you into such a deep relationship with Him that goes far beyond your desire for a happy marriage.
This does not mean God doesn’t want you to have a happy marriage. Of course He wants you to have a happy marriage. But He wants you to have something so much greater than a happy marriage. He wants you have such a deep meaningful relationship with Him that all of your empty places will be filled with Him and all your desires to run will vanish.
So take the time you need to get alone with the Lord. Don’t allow business to steal this time from you. I know sometimes busyness is a great way to distract you from the misery you deal with. But you have to make a purposeful change in the way you’re dealing with this. You have to take time to be alone with God.
From my own experience I found it very helpful to go walking so I could talk with God, either in my own neighborhood, a nearby park, or at my favorite spots along a river or hiking trail.
So start with going for walks and talk to the Lord as your closest friend. Cry out to Him, let Him know how frustrated or how angry you are. Let Him know how much it hurts and how lonely you feel. Talk to Him about your fear of seeing no end to where you’re at right now. Let Him know how real your struggle is. He already knows how you feel and what you think, so you might as well get honest with Him and talk to Him about it. I promise you will feel a lot better when you share your burdens with Him. Much better than keeping it to yourself or talking about it with people who have nothing to give you in return.
Another thing I always found to be very helpful was listening to good worship music. I especially liked it when I could be alone with God and just let the music draw me into His presence and allow the words to help me express emotions I had been keeping locked away. And most importantly I let the words and music take me to a greater place of surrender to where I could confidently say, “not my will, but your will be done Lord.”
And also I made sure to read my Bible regularly, especially the New Testament, Psalms and other passages that help me feel closer to the Lord. I knew I needed the Word to breath new life into my soul and I knew that the Word is always the ultimate authority on what God has to say. So that way if I felt like God was speaking something to me through prayer or worship I knew it would always line up with what He had already said in His Word.
So take time for prayer, for worship and for reading God’s word and allow Him to start transforming your desire to quit into a desire to be totally surrendered to Him.
As you take this time with God you can expect Him to deal with you about your desire to give up. You can expect Him to deal with you about commitment and what His standard of commitment means. You can also expect Him to help you walk out forgiveness even when it feels like your forgiveness could be taken for granted.
You can expect the Lord to show you your own responsibility for why your marriage is difficult. He will also talk to you about not judging your spouse and how you can have empathy for why and what your spouse is dealing with.
And perhaps more importantly you can expect your time alone with God to bring about some much-needed healing in your own heart and soul. He will minister comfort to your loneliness, He will strengthen your weariness, and He will bring wholeness to the broken places you’ve been dealing with for a long time. Even all those broken places you thought a happy marriage would once and for all be able to fix.
I know this difficult marriage is hard to bear. But I promise you God is no “respecter of persons.” If He used my experience for my good and to make me whole, He will do the same for you. There is no way to guarantee you how soon or even if your marriage will get better. But I can promise you that allowing God to do the work He wants to do will be worth every effort you give. And I think you owe it to yourself to allow God to do what only He can do for you and in you.
Until next time, may His blessings always be with you.
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